The US Air Force (USAF) is set to acquire a new cryptographic module from General Dynamics (GD) Mission Systems to support identification of friendly aircraft.
GD will supply an updated air identification friend or foe (AIFF) Mode 4/5 KIV-78 combined interrogator / transponder applique to the USAF, with deliveries planned in February next year.
Using KIV-78, ships, ground forces and other aircraft will be able to precisely identify friendly aircraft operating in a crowded tactical airspace.
The updated module is said to provide full encryption of friend or foe inquiries and replies, enabling aircraft to transmit their identity securely and allowing pilots to quickly identify possible threats beyond visible range, General Dynamics said in a statement.
Certified by the National Security Agency in March this year, the KIV-78 reduces power consumption and supports platform functions, such as maintaining flight data from take-off to landing.
The company was initially contracted by the USAF in 2010 to supply the IFF cryptographic modules. The contract ceiling was later increased by $20m for the updated modules.
General Dynamics offers a wide range of embeddable cryptographic technologies that address the need for secure, wireless communications solutions.
The products’ advanced information assurance and high-speed processing facilitates faster data transfer and reduced potential for IFF data exploitation by adversaries, according to the company.